King's English professors participate in Shakespearean Theatre Conference
June 27, 2019
Dr. Ian Rae and Dr. Paul Werstine, both professors in the Department of English, French and Writing, represented King’s at the 2019 Shakespearean Theatre Conference, held in Stratford, Ontario from June 20-22, 2019.
Dr. Rae gave a presentation on the role Louis Applebaum played in launching and developing a world-class music festival in 1955 and Canada’s first international festival for feature films in 1956. Applebaum was the Music Director of Stratford Festival. His work helped the Stratford Festival to become the Canadian hub of the international arts festival circuit during the 1950s.
Dr. Rae’s research centres on the little-known role Stratford played in launching Canadian festival culture, now seen in the likes of the Toronto International Film Festival. He was also interested to learn more about Applebaum as the musician was the sole Canadian among the founding artistic directorate at the Stratford Festival.
“We take professional summer music festivals for granted now, but prior to Stratford’s initiatives Canadians largely contented themselves with amateur music competitions at the local church or bandstand,” says Dr. Rae. “(Applebaum) saw the Stratford Festival as a great platform for promoting Canadian art and talent.”
Dr. Rae was impressed with the “fantastic job” the conference did of combining academic presentations with Festival performances. He was also pleased to hear several subsequent presentations, including Dr. Paul Prescott, Associate Professor (Reader) at the University of Warwick, reference his presentation.
“It is an excellent conference, attended by highly knowledgeable people, some experts in the drama of Shakespeare's time as literary art, some experts in theatrical production,” says Dr. Werstine.
Dr. Werstine introduced the plenary lecture by Dr. M.J. Kidnie, Professor of English Studies at Western University, who discussed the “many hands” involved in generating and amending Shakespeare’s texts in their various stages of productions. He said he was “thrilled” to make the introduction, having known Dr. Kidnie since she was interviewed for her post in 2002; they have become friends and colleagues in the years since.
Dr.Kidnie mentioned at the outset of her talk it was an honour to be introduced by Dr. Werstine, co-editor of the Folger Shakespeare series and one of the world experts on this topic.
This fall, Dr. Rae will teach a senior seminar called “Street to Stage: Festival Cultures in Theory and Practice,” an introductory Canadian Literature survey (English 2501), and a special topics course on Southern Ontario Gothic (English 3775).
Dr. Werstine will teach a full-year course devoted to twelve Shakespeare plays, including Twelfth Night, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Hamlet, and Othello (English 3330E) and a full-year course surveying British Literature from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to the twenty-first century (English 2301E).
To learn more about studying English at King’s, please visit https://www.kings.uwo.ca/academics/english/
For more information on the 2019 Shakespearean Theatre Conference, please visit https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/Learn/UniversityAndCollege/shakespearetheatreconference